Wed | Nov 20, 2019

Wholesome family fun on the waterfront

Published:Wednesday | October 23, 2019 | 12:17 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
Clothing by Redz Fashion at Family Fun Fest.
Clothing by Redz Fashion at Family Fun Fest.

Jamaica Family Fest 2019 splashed into the Kingston waterfront on Monday with a festive atmosphere. Sponsors’ colourful feather banners flanked booths catering to the various needs of patrons of all ages, as kids were entertained with rides in their specially designated zone. Giveaways and competitions, with live performances and recorded gospel music on the main stage, all contributed to the day’s activities which made for a wholesome family affair.

“It is definitely a game changer. Give thanks they are able to do this on Heroes Day, to get the kids out. It’s wonderful; I really appreciate it. It is something to look forward to,” an appreciative Britney Gurdon, who was there with her, son Jolan, told The Gleaner.

Organiser Andrew McKenley said Jamaica Family Fest, which was first staged in 2010, came from a desire to make a difference in family life in Jamaica: “Fathers playing a better role in their children’s life, as well as mothers just loving them more passionately and gently.

“Through this event, ultimately, we want to give them something wholesome and righteous.”

This was evident as the daylight faded, and all actions moved to the main stage. Here, featured performers Alaine, Sherlon Russell and Lubert Levy, along with supporting acts, reinforced the message of love and hope.

After affirming that “everything is going to be alright”, and a declaration that “your future is going to be brighter than your past”, Alaine implored the audience to Boast Inna God, with supporting dance moves.

Russell, still basking in the aura of the Digicel Rising Stars victory, received a rock star welcome. He, too, encouraged the audience by introducing his family, who joined him in his opening song. “I just want you to know that we are family-based,” he said.

He called on the audience to sing along with him as sometimes, “I feel trembly”. His set ended with his winning song Jesus is with Me, at the request of the audience.

Levy, who was preceded by his children Levy’s Heritage, after overcoming a technology glitch, opened with Lord I Feel Like Holding On, closing with Roll Jordan Roll.

The variety show also featured poets such as The Libarata, who performed God Nah Laugh; and hurdler Megan Tapper, who said she was grateful to the organisers who had invited her to speak before she became a household name. The dance group Hearts of Heart also gave an uplifting performance, likewise the energetic Gifted Youth Ministry, who mimed the song It Already Done.

Motivational speaker Corporal Andrew Williams preached hope through kindness in a creative manner. And in Redz Fashion’s wonderful ethnic-looking collection, the message seemed to be, pay attention to your physical appearance and walk in confidence.